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Men's Basketball: Race for the ACC

Each week The Chronicle will take a look at the ACC Men's Basketball standings and update you on who is in position to win the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season crown. Here is the ACC standings as of today:

1. Miami (20-3, 11-0); 2. Duke (22-2, 9-2); 4. Virginia (18-6, 8-3); 4. North Carolina State (17-7, 6-5); 6. North Carolina (16-8, 6-5); 6. Maryland (17-7, 5-6); 7. Florida State (13-11, 5-6); 8. Clemson (12-11, 4-7); 9. Wake Forest (11-13, 4-8); 10. Georgia Tech (13-9, 3-7); 11. Boston College (11-13, 3-8); 12. Virginia Tech (11-13, 2-9).

Can Maryland push its way into the Tournament?

Maryland has a strong overall record—17-7—but is a sub-.500 team in the ACC. That may not be so for much longer. After playing host to No. 2 Duke this weekend, Maryland has four straight games against the teams with the four worst records in the ACC. Even though three of the four games are on the road, Maryland is clearly the better team and should overcome the hostile environments to bring home wins. While road wins are nice, the Terrapins may need to upset Duke at home or Virginia on the road in order to seal their bid to the tournament.

Will Virginia survive its big test?

The Cavaliers have their toughest stretch of the season coming up in the next two weeks. Although North Carolina isn't the team we are accustomed to seeing, going into Chapel Hill as a visiting team is no easy task. After a date with the Tar Heels, Virginia gets the pleasure of traveling to Miami to take on the ACC leading Hurricanes. After a game against Georgia Tech, the Cavaliers will be thrown right back into the fire when they host No. 2 Duke. Wins against any of these teams will go a long way in helping Virginia gain the national attention it deserves for the way they've played this season.

Has Miami already won the ACC?

Not quite yet, but very close. Of their seven remaining games, the Hurricanes play only two games against teams with winning ACC records. A home game against Virginia will be Miami's first test, then a road game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Even if Miami loses both games, they will have the same ACC record as Duke—assuming the Blue Devils don't lose the rest of the season. With the way the Hurricanes are playing of late, they are much more likely to finish the ACC undefeated than they are to lose the regular season conference title.

Upset Special: North Carolina over Virginia

Don't misinterpret this pick—Virginia is a very good team, they just have the misfortune of playing Carolina on the road following a loss to rival Duke in a game where they really should have won. The Tar Heels also have a score to settle with Virginia after losing to the Cavaliers in Charlottesville earlier this season. Look for James Michael McAdoo, Reggie Bullock and company to improve upon the 37 percent they shot from the field in the teams' first meeting, and do a much better job rebounding—they are sixth in Div. 1 averaging 41.5 per game.


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